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Forestry Major

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Forestry

363 Master's Degrees Annually
133 Doctor's Degrees Annually
#167 in Popularity (Master's)
$63,150 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Forestry Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many forestry graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 363
Doctor’s Degree 133
Graduate Certificate 44

What Forestry Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to forestry and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Forestry Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Skills for Forestry Majors

forestry majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

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  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Abilities for Forestry Majors

As a forestry major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:

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  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

What Can You Do With a Forestry Major?

People with a forestry degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
First-Line Supervisors of Logging Workers 2.1% $46,960
Forest and Conservation Technicians 3.9% $37,180
Foresters 4.9% $61,410
Forestry & Conservation Science Professors 4.5% $86,900
Park Naturalists 6.3% $61,310
Range Managers 6.3% $61,310
Soil and Water Conservationists 6.3% $61,310

Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Forestry?

363 Master's Degrees Annually
40% Percent Women
10% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major tends to be male dominated. About 60% of recent graduates are men.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of forestry majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Forestry Students with Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 3
Black or African American 11
Hispanic or Latino 15
White 255
International Students 63
Other Races/Ethnicities 16

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Forestry. About 17.4% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • India
  • South Korea
  • Nepal
  • Iran

How Much Do Forestry Majors Make?

Master’s Degree Starting Salary

According to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education, students who graduated with a master’s degree in forestry have a median salary of $50,400 during the early years of their career. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $49,500 (25th percentile) and $50,650 (75th percentile).

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It’s important to note that just because the people reporting these salaries have a degree in forestry, it does not mean that they are working in a job related to their degree.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $50,790 to $65,320 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to forestry. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Forestry Major  ( 50790 to 65320 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
0K
250K

Some careers associated with forestry require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

Find out what the typical degree level is for forestry careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 3.8%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 11.4%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 2.8%
Some College Courses 4.6%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 8.8%
Bachelor’s Degree 43.6%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 0.6%
Master’s Degree 3.2%
Doctoral Degree 15.0%
Post-Doctoral Training 7.0%

Online Forestry Programs

In 2018-2019, 130 schools offered a forestry program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 29 2
Certificate (1-2 years) 19 1
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 76 10
Bachelor’s Degree 8 4
Post-Baccalaureate 29 2
Master’s Degree 50 3
Post-Master’s 1 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 36 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Forestry Worth It?

The median salary for a forestry grad is $63,150 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 58% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $465,000 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to forestry.

Major Number of Grads
Natural Resources Conservation 3,526
Natural Resource Management 1,059
Wildlife Management 240
Fisheries Sciences 101
Natural Resources Conservation (Other) 25

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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